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Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort 4.0

South Male Atoll, Kaafu Atoll, Maldives

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This hotel has undergone significant renovations since our visit.
We will update our photos and review as soon as we can.

Review Summary

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Pros

  • Accessible by speedboat from Male Airport (45 minutes)
  • On a private island with white-sand beaches and clear turquoise water
  • Two beachfront infinity pools
  • Above-average buffet and a la carte food (four restaurants and three bars)
  • All rooms have minibars, free water, teakettles, robes, and DVD players
  • Free breakfast (half-board, full-board, and all-inclusive upgrades available)
  • 24-hour room service
  • Nice spa with salon, steam room, sauna, and hydrotherapy pools
  • Children’s pool, playground, kids activities, and babysitting services
  • Excursions available (including sunset cruises, scuba diving, and fishing trips)
  • Great snorkeling and diving opportunities on a house reef
  • Fitness center, badminton, volleyball, and tennis courts
  • Billiards, table tennis, snooker, and board games
  • Water sports rentals (including Jet Skis, kayaks, and snorkeling gear)
  • Diving lessons and kitesurfing school
  • Live music and DJs on select nights

Cons

  • Pricey airport transfers
  • Some water bungalows are far from restaurants and facilities
  • Limited entertainment after dark
  • Daily fee for Wi-Fi (which is often slow)

Bottom Line

With plenty of on-site activities, beautiful beaches, and above-average food, Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort is a solid value for the Maldives. Its 164 rooms range from basic beachside units to upscale water villas, and connecting rooms are available for families. Those interested in flying in a seaplane should also consider Kuredu Island Resort, which has even more amenities and free in-room Wi-Fi.

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Scene

Beautiful island with four waterfront restaurants and casual atmosphere

Built in the 1990s, Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort is situated on a beautiful, half-mile long island about 45 minutes from Male Airport by speedboat. This older resort feels almost new, thanks in part to major renovations following the 2004 tsunami (when many of the land-based rooms were destroyed).

All of the resort’s restaurants are especially scenic, with waterfront locations either on the beach or entirely over the water. Decor-wise, they have beige tile floors, simple wooden furniture, colorful seat cushions, and high ceilings with exposed beams. Many structures on the island also have traditional palm-thatched roofs, which add to the resort’s tropical atmosphere.

There isn’t much to do after dark, but the Lagoon Bar offers live music and entertainment a few nights a week. During our visit we attended a “white party,” complete with a fog machine, DJ, and laser light show.

With four restaurants, three bars, two beachfront swimming pools, and a nice spa, Olhuveli has more amenities than many resorts in the area. The majority of guests are couples, but families are also drawn to the resort’s Family Villas (technically two connected Deluxe Rooms) and child-friendly amenities and activities.

Location

On its own private island, a 45-minute speedboat ride from Male Airport

Situated on its own private island in the South Male Atoll, the resort is accessible by a speedboat that leaves directly from Male International Airport. The bumpy, 21-mile journey takes about 45 minutes. The island is roughly half a mile long, from tip to tip. A 450-person staff lives and works at the far end of the island year-round.

Rooms

Both basic and upscale rooms with minibars, robes, water, and DVD players

Most of Olhuveli’s 164 rooms are Deluxe Rooms, Deluxe Water Villas, or Jacuzzi Water Villas. Starting art 538 square feet, these spacious units include minibars, free bottled water, electric teakettles (with tea and instant coffee), robes, flat-screen TVs, DVD players, and patios. The more elegant Jacuzzi Water Villas also feature outdoor jetted tubs (which are in addition to the indoor clawfoot tub and separate rain shower in the attractive stone tile bathroom). The rooms’ decor improves according to price: Deluxe Rooms and Deluxe Water Villas have bare white walls and bedspreads, reasonably attractive wooden furniture, and brightly colored sofas and accent pillows; Deluxe Rooms also have four-poster canopy beds. Jacuzzi Villas (and even nicer Honeymoon and Presidential Rooms) have more sophisticated furniture, canvas paintings, and more subdued color palettes. 

All units have outdoor space with water views; Beach Villas even have a private stretch of sand. 

Features

A spa, gift shops, fitness center, playground, and two beachfront pools

For a narrow, half-mile island, Olhuveli has an impressive range of amenities. A spa offers everything from couples massages to facials and includes its own beauty salon, sauna, steam room, and hydrotherapy pools. Two gift shops sell paintings and souvenirs, and a medical clinic is available for emergencies. The resort’s most popular features are its two beachfront infinity pools, which have adjacent bars to keep the drinks flowing. A kiddie pool and playground are also available for children. Other perks include billiards, ping-pong, and snooker tables, and a modest fitness center with pool views. 

Beach

White-sand beaches with cushioned loungers and palapa umbrellas

Olhuveli is surrounded by beautiful white-sand beaches and a shallow turquoise lagoon. Some sections of beach are more breathtaking than others, but guests should have no trouble claiming a picture-perfect spot. Cushioned loungers and palapa umbrellas are up for grabs, and a beach bar is available for drinks on the southern end of the island. The water temperature was perfect during our November visit -- cool enough to feel refreshing, yet warm enough to slip into without a chill. Patches of coral right off the beach offer easy access to snorkeling.

Food

Four above-average restaurants and full-board upgrades for buffet meals

With a choice of one buffet and three a la carte restaurants, Olhuveli offers more dining options than most of its competitors. The resort’s main restaurant, Sunset, serves international buffet food for breakfast and dinner. Guests can upgrade their meal plans to include dinner at Sunset and buffet lunch at Lagoon Restaurant. A la carte meals are also available at three restaurants: Lagoon (Italian and international cuisine), Plankton Grill (seafood), and Four Spices (Japanese, Indian, Thai, and Maldivian). A pizza kiosk also serves food near the Sunrise Pool. We found the food at Olhuveli to be above average overall.

Drinks

Three bars and all-inclusive alcohol packages

The resort has three bars: Dhoni Bar (beachfront), Sunrise Bar (poolside), and Lagoon Bar (connected to the Lagoon Restaurant). All-inclusive drink packages are available, but they only apply to a select list of cocktails and drinks at each bar and restaurant. Guests can also upgrade to an Emerald package to receive a better variety of alcohol, plus unlimited soft drinks, six daily cocktails, and two bottles of wine (per couple, per day). The package also includes select spa treatments and excursions, snorkel rentals, free Wi-Fi, daily afternoon tea, and discounts towards meals at a la carte restaurants.

Entertainment

Karaoke room, crab racing, and live music on select nights

There isn’t much to do on the island after dark, but the Lagoon Bar offers entertainment a few nights each week. Local Maldivian bands, cultural shows, and dance parties with DJs are the norm. A karaoke room is also available for private parties and events. The resort hosts a hermit crab race every week.

Services

Island excursions, room service, babysitting, and private dinners on the beach

For those willing to pay extra, the resort offers plenty of special services. Dolphin safaris, snorkeling and fishing trips, submarine dives, and tours of local islands are just some of the excursions available. Staff can also arrange private candlelit dinners on the beach. Babysitting and supervised kids’ activities (such as sandcastle building and arts and crafts) are available. For those who don’t like snorkeling, daily fish feedings provide ample opportunity to view aquatic life up close. Room service is available 24 hours a day.

Physical Activities

Kitesurfing school, sports courts, diving, and water sports rentals

The best activities at Olhuveli are on (or under) the water. With constant winds in the lagoon -- especially from June through October -- the resort is a mecca for kitesurfing and houses one of the only certified kitesurfing schools in Maldives. A dive center also offers lessons and excursions, and a water sports center rents snorkels, kayaks, catamarans, Jet Skis, and other gear. Sports facilities on land include badminton, volleyball, tennis courts, and a modest fitness center.

Spa

Tranquil spa with hydrotherapy pools, steam room, sauna, and beauty salon

Olhuveli has an above-average spa with eight open-air treatment rooms. Built almost entirely over a shallow fishpond, the spa is connected by footbridges. Highlights include hydrotherapy pools, a steam room, sauna, whirlpool, and hair and beauty salon. The treatments are inspired by Ayurvedic Indian therapies, and guests can order everything from couple’s massages to facials. The spa’s signature Sun Spa massage is given by two therapists simultaneously and combines Swedish, Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi, Balinese, Japanese Shiatsu, Thai, and aromatherapy techniques over the course of an hour. Treatments are also available on the beach. Prices are about average for the Maldives.

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Address

South Male Atoll, South Male Atoll

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